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Henrico-based Hamilton Beach Brands closing all of its Kitchen Collection stores by year's end

Henrico-based Hamilton Beach Brands closing all of its Kitchen Collection stores by year's end

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Henrico County-based Hamilton Beach Brands Holding Co. is closing all 160 of its Kitchen Collection retail stores by the end of this year.

Hamilton Beach, a maker of household appliances, said Tuesday that it would start winding down the retail operations of the subsidiary business, a specialty retailer of kitchenware that has struggled with the loss of customers from its brick-and-mortar stores to online sales.

To reduce inventory, the company will hold sales at the stores starting in the next few days, expected to continue through the holiday shopping season.

Based in Chillicothe, Ohio, Kitchen Collection has 800 employees at its stores and its headquarters. No jobs are affected at the Hamilton Beach Brands headquarters in Henrico, a spokeswoman for the company said.

Kitchen Collection has stores in 39 states, mainly in outlet malls. Its single store in Virginia is at Williamsburg Premium Outlets.

Kitchen Collection has been struggling with operating losses, leading the company to pursue a strategy of closing unprofitable stores while attempting to renegotiate leases.

For the first six months of 2019, Kitchen Collection reported an operating loss of $6.9 million, compared with a loss of about $8.1 million for the first six months of 2018.

Revenue was down 16.3% in the first six months of 2019 compared with the same period of 2018, mostly because of the closure of 37 underperforming stores and a decline in comparable store sales.

In a statement Tuesday, Gregory H. Trepp, president and CEO of Hamilton Beach Brands, said the decision to close the stores was “difficult but necessary.”

“Despite our best efforts to return Kitchen Collection to profitability through footprint consolidation, further deterioration in foot traffic has lowered our outlook for the prospects of a future return to profitability and positive cash flow generation,” Trepp said.

“We deeply appreciate the outstanding hard work and dedication our Kitchen Collection leaders and employees have devoted to the business and to our customers,” he added.

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